Fabric gets loose, and light colored chairs stain easily. Thats a blemish that wont be easy to get rid of, though it will stick out like a sore thumb in an otherwise immaculate kitchen. Consider putting an island in the middle of the kitchen. This creates visual interest and expands the work space considerably. If designing from scratch, consider locating the stove, oven, and sink in the island. This is a somewhat radical departure from the ubiquitous design of traditional kitchens that puts the stove up against the wall. It is also quite functional, allowing the cook to look out into the room as opposed to gazing at the wall.
Another problem you might face if you buy your kitchen island as a separate unit, and not as part of the overall kitchen, is matching it to your existing cabinets. This might not be as easy as your think, but if you purchase a solid color, such as black, white or red, then you should get away with it. Regarding colors and designs, kitchen islands can be made from a number of different materials. The framework is usually wood, but the main visible surfaces could be metal or even stone - granite is a popular substance used for counter tops. Stainless steel is also good, but try to avoid aluminum if possible, because that is very soft and easily cut and scratched, and the metal oxidizes to a dull finish.
We remember the retro styles of the sixties, the cupboards with their formica/ melamine finish and doors with translucent glass centres. They were sparse in comparison to the average kitchen furniture of today and had little if any integrated appliances. They were however functional as regards providing food storage space and work top area and represented satisfaction in meeting the requirements of the average family. Strangely we see similar shape kitchens in minimalist styles today with smaller eye level cupboards and base units finished in glossy paint colours. The worktops are however can be in granite or marble and the kitchens themselves can be extremely expensive as they are now the cutting edge of latest kitchen designs and represent innovation. These kitchens are at the top end of the market as regards kitchen furniture and bear only a fleeting similarity to its predecessors of some fifty years ago.
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